They sat in my sock drawer, third one down, valiantly swimming their way to the surface amid the sports socks and tired old printed socks. They were determined. Determined and three times the size of any other pair of socks in the drawer. They begged to be worn.
But no matter how cold my toes were, or how long I’d looked in vain for my left slipper, I could never bring myself to put them on. Even though part of my crazy mind remembered how I thought I'd love to wear them, how I envisaged wearing them all through the winter, knowing it would make me feel closer to him.
Winter went, spring, summer and another autumn and still they never made it out of my drawer. In fact, I could barely look at them, much less pick them up.
That is until tonight when that nasty little voice in my head said that if I didn’t start wearing them soon, I should throw them out. THROW THEM OUT?? Then of course I had to put them on because no way Jose were they getting thrown out.
So I put them on.
And promptly started crying when a hundred and one forgotten pictures of Big Al sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee balanced on the arm rest, and these very same angora socks bunching around his ankles flicked across my mind like a slide show I couldn’t turn off, and I realized these tears are the very reason I left those socks in the drawer for so long. Smart girl.
Because even after a year and a bit these tears are hot and hurtful, sticking in my throat and making me remember. The tears tell me I was stupid to think I was so much better for the past few months. They tell me that I'm kidding myself, that they are just under the surface waiting to jump out whenever a little angora fluffiness comes my way.
Stupid socks. I sit at the computer and look at old photos and new photos and get sadder and sadder, crying quietly so TJ won't hear me from watching the equally sad Richmond football game in the next room.
Then i get up to go and check on the lemon delicious pudding, and whaddaya know the socks make me glide like an ice skater across our polished floor boards, something my dad, with his ice hockey past, would've greatly approved of.
That made me smile and suddenly everything was more than ok.
My brain confuses me.
What is it about grief that only tears can make it better? Whether it's one year or five or twenty, you just have to cry when the tears are there. If I cry, like a good soaking rain, everything appears a little bit brighter and cleaner.
Maybe I'm a lot better than I thought.Rest in peace Big Al. I miss you like crazy.